What can I negotiate as a seller?

Dated: November 17 2020

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You just got an offer, now what? You may have just spent the last hours, days, or weeks praying for a great offer and now you don't want to ruin it! Remember - you have what the buyers want! 

Let me break down your negotiating power ↓

1. Length of contingencies: When a buyer submits an offer, they will include any necessary contingencies such as the home inspection, appraisal, and financing. These contingencies have deadlines attached to them. If you are trying to juggle a double move (sell your house and buy) you'll want to make sure these deadlines aren't being extended longer than necessary, yet give you enough time to coordinate and plan. As the seller, you have the option to counter offer and reduce the contingency deadlines to what you and your real estate agent think is more reasonable if needed.

2. Schedule closing for a specific date: Let the buyer's agent know that you have a specific date you want to close on before they even write the offer (if they give your agent a head's up). In most cases at the moment in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, the ball is in the seller's court due to the massive lack of inventory. That gives you more negotiating power which means if you aren't ready to move out for 90 days, you can probably make that happen!

3. Home inspection repairs: Here's the thing, you don't have to repair every single thing the buyer asks for, much less every single thing on the report. If there are major repairs that affect the value, safety, or health of the property, those are the things you'll most likely need to take care of to get to the closing table. You can also offer the buyer a credit so they can handle them they way they want after closing. (Tip: that usually works out best and is less of a headache for you).

4. The earnest money deposit amount: As soon as you accept an offer, the buyer is going to submit an earnest money deposit, which is kind of like their security deposit for the transaction. It shows that they are going to try their best to meet deadlines and settle on this property. You can always counter an offer and ask that the buyers increase their earnest money amount. Each state varies with what is typical to offer as an earnest money amount and there are other factors that affect how much is customary, which we'll discuss at the time of the offer. However, a buyer offering a higher amount for their earnest money deposit can show that they are more financially secure and more likely to obtain financing. 

Do you have questions about your negotiating power when it comes to selling your home? 

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Rachel Parsons

Hi there, I’m Rachel! I'm a licensed REALTOR serving clients in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. I ensure that my clients' homes make an amazing first impression on the market. I teach my clients to ....

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